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Comment Business & Economics

U.S. chemical production continues gain in May, ACC says

By Scott Jenkins |

According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; www.americanchemistry.com), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose by 0.4 percent in May, following a 0.2 percent gain in April and a 0.3 percent decline in March. During May, chemical output was up across all regions except the Ohio Valley, which posted flat growth.

Chemical production was mixed over the three-month period. There were gains in the production three-month moving average (3MMA) output trend in organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals, manufactured fibers, plastic resins, synthetic rubber, other specialty chemicals, and industrial gases. These gains were offset by declines in the output of adhesives, fertilizers, crop protection chemicals, consumer products, and coatings, ACC said.

Nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form. Thus, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical production. On a 3MMA basis, manufacturing activity edged lower for a fourth straight month by 0.1 percent in May. Output expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including motor vehicles and parts, computers, semiconductors, oil and gas extraction, rubber products, apparel and furniture.

Compared with May 2018, U.S. chemical production was up by 2.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, a weaker comparison than in April, ACC noted. Chemical production was higher than a year ago in all regions, with the largest gains in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and West Coast regions.

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